Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been the victim of a medical error, then you may be reluctant to continue treatment. Your confidence in the healthcare system may be at its lowest, but your condition requires you to keep fighting through and continuing treatment.
When someone suggests that you have a good reason to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may wonder how the process works. Gaining better insight into what medical malpractice is and how the justice system works to get you the resolution you need will help you feel better about moving forward. Here are three essential elements of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- Establish Negligence
To get the process rolling, you first must be able to show that you were affiliated with the provider from whom you seek compensation. You also need to have documentation to back you up. Once the relationship has been established, you next have to assert that what the professional did or didn’t do was negligent. The standard of care is something that the medical profession considers part of its foundation. The standard of care is established rules — both written and unwritten — that dictate how one moves forward with caring for patients. If a provider fails to meet this standard of care or blatantly goes against it, a medical malpractice case may be warranted.
- File a Suit Within the Proper Time Frame
There are strict time filing guidelines that are set in every state. If you miss the window in which you have to file a lawsuit, you may be barred from bringing an action against a provider. Many states operate on a “known or should have known” premise that may help extend the time for filing. It usually states that you can bring legal action within “x” number of years from the date you knew, or should have known, that your injury or illness was caused by medical negligence. Again, check with the laws in your state to ensure you do not miss the deadline.
- Consider Damages
Lawsuits are designed to bring about monetary compensation for a plaintiff. They are civil suits, so if the defendant is found negligent, the punishment is financial. There is no jail time in civil lawsuits. Thus, before filing your claim, you must have an idea of the type and amount of damages you want, should you prevail. There are three types of damages awarded:
- Compensatory, which cover the amount of money you’ve lost as a result of the injury.
- General, which cover pain, suffering, and distress due to the injury.
- Punitive, which are meant to punish the defendant financially, and are only awarded by the judge or jury.
A medical malpractice lawyer, like a medical malpractice lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT, can help you establish your lawsuit. Check with one in your area for more information.
Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into the different types of damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit.